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Pirates of the Caribbean Online, sometimes shortened to Pirates Online or POTCO, is a MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game), created by the Walt Disney Company. It is based on the film series and theme park attraction of the same name. The game is the second MMORPG developed by the Disney Online Studios - Los Angeles section of the Disney Interactive Media Group, after Toontown Online (which launched in 2003).
The game was first announced by The Walt Disney Company on April 26, 2005. It was originally scheduled to be released in summer 2006, to coincide with the release of the film Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, but its release was pushed back multiple times. The game went through two beta testing phases during 2007 and was officially launched on October 31, 2007.
In Pirates Online, players are able to create customizable characters (2 per account for Basic Members, 4 per account for Unlimited Members), captain and customize a ship, assemble crews, complete quests, play mini games, and take on the role of a pirate in the fictional Disney version of the 18th century Caribbean.
Player interaction takes place in and around Port Royal, Tortuga, Cuba, Padres del Fuego, and other minor islands. Characters from the film series appear as NPC, including Jack Sparrow, Will Turner, Elizabeth Swann, and Blackbeard. Gameplay also involves encounters with new characters and enemies unique to the game, such as Jolly Roger and El Patron. In order to become a "notorious pirate," players are required to forge alliances, complete quests for reputation and gold coins, hunt for buried treasures, battle evil forces and outsmart enemies.
- Skill levels
The game's "Notoriety" Level cap was initially 40, but has since been raised to 50. For a short time there was a bug in the game that allowed some players to get higher than 50 (during "Invasions"). There is a maximum skill level of 30 for weapons and sailing/cannon. Upon reaching level 30 on a Weapon, the game shows "Mastered". As of the update in 2009, the game allows players to re-train for an in-game fee of gold coins; 250 coins per skill the first time, 2500 the second, and finally 10,000 each time after that.
- Gold coins
Players collect and earn gold coins, which was originally capped at 65,000. In 2009, the gold cap was changed to 200,000. Players can play Tortuga hold 'em and blackjack in taverns, with the ability to bet gold on each game. They can also get gold by repairing ships for people or fishing. These games can be played against NPCs or other online players. Gold can also be acquired from "loot pouches" and "loot chests", found when enemies are defeated.
- Character appearance
In April 2010, there was a change to clothing and jewelry/tattoo inventories. Changes to appearance no longer required a trip to shops, and instead could be performed instantly in a drag and drop manner.
Ships are very important; providing a way to travel and to fight. Players assemble crews to run the ships while in battle. However, crews only last while logged in. If a player remains logged-out for more than five minutes, the crew is lost. Ships, apart from going against the enemy organizations' ships, can also take part in Player vs. Player version of Ships, which is known as privateering. In December 2011, there was a change that allowed players to customize their ship's hulls, rigging, and sails.
The game has a large selection of available weapons. Originally there was a set six inventory (storage) slots for weapons, one for each weapons category: Sword, Voodoo Doll, Gun, Dagger, Grenade, and Voodoo Staff. Each inventory slot was unlocked when the appropriate level of "notoriety" was reached and the accompanying quests were completed. Besides storage, there are four "active" weapon slots which can be used in combat. Originally the player was automatically equipped with the weapon they had for whichever category they chose at the time; it was only possible to carry one weapon of each type at a time.
In 2009, there was a major overhaul of the game's GUI and inventory system. When killed, enemies drop pouches or chests, and hundreds of weapons can be collected from enemies. Also added were new weapon classes like Sabre, Broadsword, Musket, Bayonet, Blunderbuss, and Throwing Knives, as well as different classes of Voodoo Dolls and Staffs. In April 2010, Disney released several updates which included a major overhaul in the number of accessible weapons. Currently in the Inventory page of the pirate ('I') the player can hold a maximum of 35 weapons in storage, not six, plus the four weapons in the active slots. Any of the weapons in inventory can be placed into or swapped into any of the four slots whenever the player wants. The update also increased the number of weapons classes. In September 2010, a new class of weapons called Cursed Blades were released, featuring moves from Cutlasses, Sabres and Broadswords. Along with the change came new combos or styles of attacking, though it continues to be a set of choreographed rote techniques.
The game leaderboards enable players to compare scores with other pirates and guilds. The ranking criteria of Top 25 players and guilds include overall notoriety, enemies defeated, ships sunk, Pirate vs. Pirate battles and blackjack hands won.
There have been many expansions and updates to the game since it was introduced and officially launched. They have gone from minimal graphic updates to complete island overhauls, as Port Royal, Tortuga and Padres del Fuego did in 2009. More recently the Queen Anne's Revenge was launched as a flagship to coincide in with the latest movie, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, which was released in theaters three days later.
The game's storyline is situated between the events of The Curse of the Black Pearl and Dead Man's Chest. With the fall of the Aztec curse, settlements which had been pestered by Captain Barbossa (e.g. Port Royal) are flourishing again and with them, so is piracy. Pirates in the Caribbean freely sail the waters. However, Jack Sparrow, who is in eternal fiendship with the Undead Captain Jolly Roger, uses the help of friendly pirates to shield himself - and the Brethren Court - from Roger's wrath and Undead armies, starting the invasion of the main islands in the Caribbean. Meanwhile, a new threat looms over piracy - the East India Trading Company.
Story Quest: Set Sail
The basic story of the character begins in the island of Rambleshack, where the character is freed from jail by captain Jack Sparrow. As the player escapes, they find the small island being attacked from nowhere by cannon fire. As they enter a warehouse on the island, they meet Will Turner, who trains them with the Cutlass. As the player readies to leave, skeletons appear and take on Turner. Turner gives the player a cutlass and they leave the warehouse. As the player escapes the warehouse through the back door, they take on the Skeletons that block them.
They then enter a ship captained by a man named Bo Beck, who takes the player with him. After confronting and destroying an undead warship, the game's main villain appears on the ship. It is revealed that Beck had made a deal to bring Sparrow to Jolly Roger, but double crossed Roger for Sparrow. Jolly Roger then turns Beck into a skeleton, but lets the player live as a warning to Sparrow, making them walk the plank. The player then swims to Port Royal.
In Port Royal, voodoo[disambiguation needed] mistress Tia Dalma warns of dark forces of the EITC and Jolly Roger rising in the Caribbean, and that only the Black Pearl is needed to keep piracy alive; but unfortunately the Pearl has been captured by the Royal Navy. As Elizabeth Swann is approached for help she tells the player that the release of the Pearl would not be easy, and gives the player a ship, a light sloop. Captain Hector Barbossa then hands the player a pistol as he is met in his Grotto in Devil's Anvil.
Story Quest: The Black Pearl Crew
After meeting Barbossa, the player then has to go to the Faithful Bride to meet Jack Sparrow. Sparrow tells them of the list of people to recruit for the Pearl's crew. From then on the pirate has to do innumerable quests for the recruits (one at a time, and returning to Joshamee Gibbs in the Faithful Bride after each), and the first chapter of the story ends with the Black Pearl boss battle, in which players have to team up to sail the Black Pearl out of the harbor it was kept in by defeating the guarding crew, sinking navy escort ships, blowing up enemy forts, and destroying the main boss ship, the Goliath. Upon returning to Jack Sparrow, Sparrow rewards the player with the leadership ability, which increases the rate of cannonfire, speed, and cannon reload rate.
Story Quest: Raven's Cove
To take part in this quest, players do not have to complete the Liberation of the Black Pearl Story Chapter. Jolly Roger has set up a rum blockade to get Jack out in the open. Jack sends the player to Raven's Cove a desolate, cursed island that was destroyed after Jolly Roger and the EITC raided it for weapons. Every soul was killed besides one and now ghosts haunt the isle. The player must help the friendly ghosts carry out their last wish, in order to get to the mines where El Patron's Cursed Blades are rumored to be located. Jack needs these in order to defeat Jolly Roger. Once the player enters the mines he must help Doctor Bellrog, a soul trapped in the mines by Jolly Roger. After helping him the player is able to unlock the door at the end of the mines which grants access to El Patron's Ship, which was landlocked in a pool during a mutiny. The cursed blades are on the ship, however the player must battle the Ghost of El Patron to get them. After defeating El Patron the player chooses 1 of 3 cursed blades, and receives an Evil Curse of Doom (Which bares a striking similarity to the Black Spot from Dead Man's Chest) by touching it.
|PC Gamer US||60 out of 100|
|Game Chronicles|| |
Pirates of the Caribbean Online has received some moderate reviews. Reviewers generally noted the game's family-friendly atmosphere, rather simple graphics, and easy yet tactical ship combat. The game also was recentlyTemplate:When voted for the Beckett Massive Online Game Survey, under the category for best online game for family friendly atmosphere, in which it won runner-up
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 "Disney Online Developing Pirates of the Caribbean Massively Multiplayer Online Game". Press release. 2005-04-26. http://www.gamespot.com/pc/rpg/piratesofthecaribbeanonline/news.html?sid=6123020&mode=all. Retrieved 2008-11-29. "The game was slated to debut in summer 2006, coinciding with the theatrical premiere of "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.""
- ↑ David Jenkins (2006-04-12). Disney Updates On Pirates of the Caribbean MMO. Gamasutra. CMP Media. Retrieved on 2008-11-29.
- ↑ "Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean Online Sets Sail". Press release. 2007-10-31. http://corporate.disney.go.com/wdig/press_releases/2007/07_1031_pirates.html. Retrieved 2008-01-24.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Pirates Online Release Notes". Retrieved 2011-06-19.
- ↑ "Leaderboards". Retrieved 2011-06-19.
- ↑ "Pirates Online Timeline in Relation to the Films". PiratesOnline.Wikia.com. Retrieved 2011-06-19.
- ↑ Pirates of the Caribbean Online - PC. GameRankings. Retrieved on 2008-11-29.
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Pirates of the Caribbean Online. Metacritic. Retrieved on 2008-06-25.
- ↑ Hudak, Chris (2008-02-20). Pirates of the Caribbean Online - PC Review. Game Revolution. Net Revolution Inc.. Retrieved on 2008-11-30.
- ↑ Lafferty, Michael (2007-10-31). Pirates of the Caribbean Online. GameZone. GameZone Online. Retrieved on 2008-11-30.
- ↑ PC Gamer (171): 82. 2008-02-01.
- ↑ Stevens, Tim. Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean Online. X-Play. G4. Retrieved on 2008-11-29.
- ↑ Tsukitaka, Mahamari (2007-11-29). Pirates of the Caribbean Online. Game Chronicles. Game Chronicles Magazine. Retrieved on 2008-11-30.